Friday, December 12, 2008

take care of ...

The books that I use to teach beginner readers include carefully selected words and phrases for the first year. These are common expressions like "come here," "where is .." and "is asleep." But one of the very first more complex expressions is "take care of." This is a concept that is fundamental to human life. We must take care of our children, our parents and each other. We take care of pets, and cars, and houses. It is the basic building block of life.

Taking care of is not a sexually defined activity. It belongs to all of us, to take care of and to be cared for. There is no male way to care for others, and no female way to care for others, at least according to the Bible. It is true that we all have our culturally bound and individually shaped ways of caring for others. We all care for others in ways that we can, according to our strengths. But there is no one specific way to do this depending on gender. Here are two stories from Luke 10.

Thanks to Scott for giving me the idea for this post.

"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

1 comment:

scott gray said...

thank you.